What was your educational and professional background before coming to SILS?
I had completed a B.A. in English from Mary Washington College (now University of Mary Washington).
How has your career progressed since you graduated SILS?
My first job was in the reference department of the Virginia State Library (now the Library of Virginia). I was promoted to department head after three years. We moved to Roanoke, Va., where I worked as Reference Librarian at Hollins University for four years, after which I became Assistant Librarian at Woods Rogers PLC, the largest law firm in Southwestern Virginia. When our library director left in 1996, I was promoted to Director of Library Services.
In your current employment, what are your job duties and responsibilities?
I am a solo librarian, doing everything from filing the loose-leaf services to research and cite-checking attorney work product. I also perform conflict of interest checks on prospective clients and adverse parties, and am the records manager, including closing attorney files and arranging for off-site storage of those files.
What projects have gotten you most excited and/or what accomplishments have made you the proudest?
There's been a lot of excitement along the way. In Richmond, we got calls from the Governor's office and legislators, and sometimes saw the results of our labor on the evening news. Hollins let me relive my college experience a little, helping students research their class assignments. While I don't have a law degree, I've learned a lot about the law through research projects and, again, sometimes the results of those projects make the news. Outside the office, I have served on committees in my professional organizations, and was the Chair of the Private Law Libraries Information Professionals section of the American Association of Law Libraries.
What were some of your best experiences at SILS?
It might actually have been The Block, with all of us learning together, studying together and playing together. I loved having both the SILS Library and Wilson there for my use, and after graduating from a fairly small college, I walked around the Carolina campus with my mouth open, thrilled to be at this wonderful, huge place.
How did your time at SILS prepare you for the future?
I learned both the theory and mechanics of the job, and also met people who could be my network once I graduated. I gained confidence while I was there, too, knowing I was armed with the wherewithal to get and do a professional job. Having SILS' name on my diploma didn't hurt, either!
What inspires or motivates you?
I'm inspired by the bright and dedicated people I work with every day, who always go the extra mile for their clients. I don't want to let them down, or be the weak link in the work process. I'm also inspired by someone close to me who goes into work every day and gives it his all, despite fighting a terminal disease.
Is there any other information you would like to share, or any advice you would like to offer current or future SILS students?
Work hard, absorb all you can, and build relationships that will help you in the future. But make sure you enjoy your time in Chapel Hill.